The Documents that Shaped America - Reading Comprehension
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The Documents that Shaped America
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     Three documents formed our country. They are:
 
2     The Declaration of Independence
 
3     The Constitution
 
4     The Bill of Rights

 
5     Here's how they came to be a part of our history:
 
6     THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
 
7     For about one hundred fifty years, England's king ruled America. King George III became the king in 1760. Most of the time, he left America alone. He was busy with England's other problems. A war with France had been going on for a long time. Then in 1767, the king needed money to pay for the war. England passed the Stamp Act to tax the colonies. This made colonists mad. For many years, England and America had a war of words. America did not want to pay the taxes. England did not want to listen.
 
8     In 1773, men dumped tea into the Boston Harbor. This is known as the Boston Tea Party. This made England mad. The king sent troops to America to keep the colonists under control. The colonies fought back. And on July 4, 1776, America said that she was a free country.
 
9     Thomas Jefferson was the author of the declaration. In it, he wrote that governments are to protect people. They are also to give people rights. He wrote that all human beings have the right to "...Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Jefferson also listed the things England had done wrong.

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